Blogtober Day Thirty-One: Amanda’s Spooktober Wrap Up

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Hi, lovelies! For my final blogtober post I shall be wrapping up all of the books I read this month! I managed quite a few and I’m happy with how many I read. As usual, I read some good and some not so good books as well as some in-between books. Let’s talk about what I read this month!

Physical Books
Road to Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young
We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Check, Please! Book One: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
Rage by Cora Carmack
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

eBooks
Love Bites by Lynsay Sands
Single, White Vampire by Lynsay Sands
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands
A Bite to Remember by Lynsay Sands
The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Spinning by Tillie Walden
Bite Me If You Can by Lynsay Sands
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
A Question of Holmes by Brittany Cavallaro
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro & Emily Henry
Talon by Julie Kagawa
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
American Royals by Katharine McGee
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
The Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands
Vampires are Forever by Lynsay Sands
Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Vampire, Interrupted by Lynsay Sands

Audiobooks
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

Somehow…I read thirty-eight books in the month of October. It sounds completely ridiculous to be able to say that. Like, obviously I have no life. Read this many books is partially due to being obsessed with the Vampire Academy Bloodlines series because I flew through the audiobooks. I also read a handful of graphic novels which are usually one-sitting reads for me.

How many books did you read for the spooky month? Did we read any of the same books? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Day Thirty-One (Part Two): Amanda’s Bookeyman-A-Thon Wrap Up

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Hi, lovelies! For my second to last blogtober post I’ll be sharing the books I completed for the Bookeyman-A-Thon. This readathon was hosted by two of my favorites, Alana @ The Bookish Chick & Books in the Skye. I had a ton of fun and read pretty much everything that wasn’t on my TBR list for this one. Here are the challenges I completed and what books I read to fulfill them.

Read the Group Book:

Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Read a book you’ve been dying to sink your teeth into – Read a backlist book:

A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

You need to feed and all you see is blood – Read a book with a red cover:

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Make your immortality count and become well known – Read a book with over 15,000 ratings on GoodReads:

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Sunrise Challenge: You need to avoid the sunlight – Read a book only at night:

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

How did you do for this readathon? Did you help defeat the Bookeyman? Let me know some things you read in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

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GoodReads Summary:
Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
Nearly six months after Kate and August were first thrown together, the war between the monsters and the humans is a terrifying reality. In Verity, August has become the leader he never wished to be, and in Prosperity, Kate has become the ruthless hunter she knew she could be. When a new monster emerges from the shadows—one who feeds on chaos and brings out its victim’s inner demons—it lures Kate home, where she finds more than she bargained for. She’ll face a monster she thought she killed, a boy she thought she knew, and a demon all her own.
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Review:
Our Dark Duet was the perfect ending to this duology. It did such a great job of answering all the questions I was left with at the end of This Savage Song. The story is dark and gritty and full of things that you don’t really want to think or talk about. It’s full of important themes, violence and crime, what it means to kill someone, and how the lines can be blurred when it comes to murder. Schwab wrote a beautiful story about a really challenging topic.
I still adore Kate. She’s a fierce woman, a force of nature. She’s left Verity to start over somewhere new. But of course, in her mission to hunt down the monsters, she’s led right back to her home. Only, her home is nothing like it was when she left. I really enjoyed her part of the story. Her struggle to keep this new monster at bay and her desire to take down the evils she had created. I really loved Kate.
Verity was not the only thing that was almost unrecognizable. August was not the same character that we met in This Savage Song. He’s lost himself, his more human side, after the things he’s had to do. I think the dynamic between Kate and August was my favorite part. They seem to bring out the best in one another. I really liked them together as a team.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this book. I enjoyed every page. The writing was beautiful. The characters were developed and likable. The story was compelling and fast-paced. It’s a new favorite for sure.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: A Bite to Remember by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
Rule #1: Never get involved with someone who won’t be there for you when the sun comes up.
Once bitten, twice shy, and sexy PI Jackie Morrisey wasn’t going there again. Vincent Argeneau may be the hottest guy she’s ever met, living or dead, but she’s here to stop a killer from turning this vampire into dust, not to jump into bed with him.
Rule #2: Never kiss a vampire . . . it can be a pain in the neck.
Okay, so Vincent’s had four hundred years to perfect his kissing skills, and he does look rather tempting when he runs around the house shirtless. He’s also charming, protective . . . did we mention he can kiss? Jackie needs to be on her guard, or else she’ll have to come up with a new rule: If you’re going to fall in love with a vampire, make sure it’s a bite to remember.
A Bite to Remember (Argeneau #5)Review:
A Bite to Remember was fun because it was the first book in the Argeneau series where the love interest already knew that vampires existed and the history behind their creation. She was also a private detective so this was half romance and half mystery, which was really enjoyable.
Vincent is our Argeneau in this installment of the series. I really loved him. He’s funny and chipper and always trying to look on the bright side. Though he’s realizing that he may have been in danger of starting to fall into the depression that some vampires face where nothing is exciting anymore.
Enter Jackie, the private investigator Bastien has hired to help Vincent find out who is sabotaging his company. Jackie has some old prejudices against vampires because of a relationship she had with one when she was just starting to learn the ropes of her father’s business. Since then, she never lets herself trust or really get too close to any of their kind. I liked Jackie because she was willing to learn things about herself when her best friend points them out.
That brings up Tiny. I loved him. He was a no-bullshit guy and despite being large, he has many talents. I didn’t like how often his size was pointed out. I thought it was unnecessary. But I loved him. Even more after remembering who he ends up with.
I enjoyed the mystery we’re trying to unravel too. I thought I’d remembered who the villain was from reading this years ago, but I was wrong. I thought the big reveal and rescue was great.
Overall, another Argeneau novel that I really enjoyed. The writing was great. The characters were enjoyable and funny. The smut was also great. I just love this series.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Tall, Dark & Hungry by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
It bites: New York hotels cost an arm and a leg, and Terri had flown from England to help plan her cousin’s wedding. The new in-laws offered lodging. But they were a weird bunch. There was the sometimes-chipper-sometimes-brooding Lucern, and the wacky stage-actor, Vincent. (She couldn’t imagine Broadway casting a hungrier singing-and-dancing Dracula.) And then there was Bastien. Just looking into his eyes, Terri had to admit she was falling for him – someone even taller, darker and hungrier than the other two. She was feeling a mite peckish herself. And if she stayed with him, those blood-sucking hotel owners wouldn’t get to her!
Tall, Dark & Hungry (Argeneau #4)Review:
Tall, Dark & Hungry was almost the best book I’ve read in this series so far. Except for the last fifty or so pages. I didn’t like one choice that the female main character made, even though I understood her reasoning.
Bastien is my favorite Argeneau. He’s the man you go to when you need something. I love him. He heads up Argeneau Enterprises and handles business. So, when his house slowly starts filling with people, he has to juggle quite a few different things, which was certainly entertaining. He’s agreed to host Terri, Kate’s cousin/best friend/maid of honor, while she’s in town for the wedding. But then Kate has to leave because of work, so he’s left to house and entertain her. Also, Kate’s fellow editor has been injured and needs a place to stay. Oh, and Bastien’s cousin Vincent is in town for a play he’s starring in. So, it’s basically a madhouse. But then it gets worse. Kate and Lucern’s wedding slowly falls apart, from the flowers to the caterer to the tissue paper flowers. Bastien and Terri manage to fix it all.
Terri was honestly a little whiney. She’s scared to put herself out there and admit that she likes Bastien because of her experiences with her husband dying years and years ago. And when she is under the false assumption that Bastien has a terminal illness, she runs. I didn’t like that part of the story. Though I did like getting to meet her loved ones in England. They gave her the shake she needed to pull her head out of her butt and get things together.
Overall, I enjoyed this one more than the first three even though I didn’t always like what the characters did. The story was fun and had me laughing so much (which is a problem because I’m reading these at night when I’m snuggling my little one to sleep). I keep finding myself surprised to find that Sands is a really talented writer (stupid stereotypes on romance!) She uses several of the writing techniques I’ve been learning about in my college writing classes. Also, the sex scenes are A+. I’ve pretty much read nothing but this series since picking up the first one. I think I’m addicted.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty-Eight: Amanda’s Graphic Novel Mini-Reviews

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Hi, lovelies! I’m back again at the end of this wonderful Spooktober to talk about the graphic novels I managed to read this month. Sadly, I read most of my spooky graphic novels last month in my excitement for the spooky season. But I still read some good picks this month!

Oz: Road to Oz by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

This was probably my least favorite in this series so far. I enjoyed the art. I love Skottie Young’s work. I love how he brought to life all of the different people and creatures we meet on Dorothy’s latest journey. But the story itself was not as good as the others. I didn’t feel like much was at stake and I just didn’t care about Ozma’s birthday party.

Spinning by Tillie Walden

I love Tillie Walden. I don’t know what kick-started this love, but I love her work. I love her art. I especially loved this memoir written as a graphic novel. It was a bit confusing here and there because it seemed to have random bits of her life plopped into the story. But after reading the author’s note at the end it made more sense. This was a story about a young girl that is a talented figure skater, but she’s also so much more than that. She’s gay and trying to figure out what that means for her and the rest of her life. I really enjoyed this one. The story was heartfelt (and my hometown was mentioned, how cool?!) and meaningful. It was not a sweet story by any means, but it was honest and hard. I definitely recommend this one.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This one has been on my radar since I started reading graphic novels earlier this year. I really like the message it left me with. Even though you love someone, they might not be the right person for you. I didn’t like how Freddy let herself neglect her friends when Laura Dean decided to give her attention. Laura Dean was a giant asshole. I’m glad Freddy broke up with her. I enjoyed the art for this one. I also really enjoy the parts of the story where Freddy was writing to an advice columnist and the advice she got back. I enjoyed this one for sure.

Check, Please! Book One: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Everyone absolutely raves about Check, Please! So, I had to get it. Plus, I’m a huge hockey fan. I figured this would be right up my alley. Indeed it was. I thought this was fun and just all around wholesome. I loved the bro-ness that was clear throughout the story. There’s just something about being a part of a team. I thought that came across really well. I love  Bitty and his obsession with baking. It made me want to get up and bake a pie myself. The only thing I didn’t really like was how it jumped from scene to scene between chapters. Something big would happen and then suddenly it would be a new chapter with a completely different topic. I felt like we were only getting bits and pieces of Bitty’s story. Which, kind of makes sense because the story is told via  Bitty’s vlogs. But I wanted a bit more detail. Overall, I had a ton of fun reading this and will definitely be picking up the next volume.

The Wicked + The Divine, Volume One: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

I would die for Luci. I loved this graphic novel. I plan to go pick up the next few volumes tomorrow when I can. I love the concept of the story, twelve Gods reincarnating as humans for two years before dying again. I’d love to know more about where they go when they die. I loved that we follow Laura, a human, as she befriends Luci, and fangirls over the rest of the Gods. Lucifer being female was everything I never knew I needed. She was absolutely my favorite. I really enjoyed the diverse cast. It was hard to really get any character development from the rest of the Gods because there was just so many of them. I’m sure we will see more of them in the next volumes and I just cannot wait to continue this series.

These are all the graphic novels I read this month. Have you read any of them? Did you like (or not) any as much as I did? Leave me some recommendations if you have them!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
SWM – “Lucern.” Successful biographer of family, books recently categorized as “paranormal romance.” Something of a recluse. Hates crowds, aggressive women. Doesn’t like sunbathing, garlicky dinners or religious symbols. Likes old-fashioned values; spicy Mexican dishes; warm, nice-smelling neck; and plump red lips. Stronger than ten men and can vanish in the blink of an eye. Currently unaware he’s seeking a woman to share eternity.
SWF – “Kate C. Leever.” Newest editor of Romance at Roundhouse Publishing. Perky, fun. Has recently discovered a legacy author just dying to be broken out. In fact, her career could take off from it. (The tall, dark, handsome writer just needs to be taken to several romance conventions and introduced to his fans…and stopped from acting so strange in public.) Dislikes “difficult, rude, obnoxious, pig-headed writers.” Currently unaware she’s met the man of her wildest dreams.
OH, DEAR.
Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)Review:
Single White Vampire had the potential to be a favorite. But sadly, it wasn’t. It was actually my least liked book of the series so far. I blame that entirely on Lucern.
Lucern is basically an old grumpy man stuck in his ways. He ‘doesn’t like outgoing women’ and his mind is stuck in the 1800s. He’s constantly talking about how ‘women shouldn’t act this or that way’ which I really didn’t like. He is not as bad in the latter half of the book. But I just didn’t like his old-fashioned thinking. Though I could respect him keeping his word to go to the conference even though he’d sort of been lied to about what he was agreeing to do.
Kate, however, was the best. I adored her. She’s an editor at a publishing house and she makes sure to get what she wants. She’ll do anything for her authors and I loved her passion for her job. I loved this aspect of the story, as well as the romance conference. This was when Lucern and Kate’s relationship started. I really enjoyed the things he got her to do.
Overall, not my favorite Argeneau book, but I liked Kate enough to bump up my overall enjoyment.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Wicked King by Holly Black

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Summary:
Jude has bound to the Wicked King, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)Review:
One half of me is upset I waited so long to read this series and the other half of me is upset that I didn’t wait until all three books were release. The thought of having to wait until November to see how the lives of these characters will play out is its own special kind of torture.
I loved The Wicked King. Holly Black writes a fascinating and completely compelling story. This book was so fast paced that I just couldn’t manage to put it down until the very last page. The writing sucked me in and spit me out an angry mess when it was over. I’m so mad at Holly Black for the way that she ended The Wicked King, but I’m also in complete and total awe of her talent.
Jude is such an interesting main character. Everything she does is for her family, and a little bit for herself too. She’s fiery and passionate. She doesn’t let anyone stand in the way of what she wants. She will go after her goals with a bloody vengeance. I loved how fierce she was. She’s ruthless, intelligent, and clever—a dangerous combination.
Then there’s Cardan. I love everything but the tail. And of course, the things he did in the final pages. But I’m hopeful that he did what he did for good reason and not to be an asshole. I adored all of the scenes he was in with Jude and I’m really hopeful to see where things end up with them. I also really enjoyed seeing him fill the role of King. It was really interesting to see him take so well to a position he never wanted.
Overall, I loved this book. I loved the characters. I loved the pace of the story. There was nothing but action and excitement and scheming and I loved every single page. I will very anxiously be awaiting the final book in the trilogy. If you haven’t read this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty-Seven: Books That Haunt

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Hiii, lovelies! For one of the final days in Blogtober, I want to talk about some books that are haunting me. These books are not necessarily ghostly but the messages or characters or something in them has really resonated with me. And so, they haunt me. They have stuck with me, lodged in my brain, for all of time.

Dry by Neil & Jarrod Shusterman
Date Read: 2018
An all too real portrayal of the potential near future. I want to read it again.

Air Awakens by Elise Kova
Date Read: 2018
This series did some serious damage to my little hormonal pregnant heart. I can’t get the story or the characters out of my head.

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
Date Read: 2017
This series is never-ending and gets weirder and more creative with every installment. I’ve taken a break from the newest books recently, but I still think about them all the time.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
Date Read: 2010
My favorite book of all time. This story will be with me forever. It saved my life at a time when I didn’t really see the point. I’m always grateful for this story.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Date Read: 2014
This one haunts me like a ghost. It whispers, “Reread meeee.” and “Finish meee” because I never finished the series and it’s been so long I would need to reread all the ones I’ve read already.

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Date Read: 2013
My first dip into YA dystopian and I was (and still am) obsessed.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Date Read: 2019
A haunting story that I cried through probably 60% of the pages. This is a must-read.

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins
Date Read: 2018
An all too real conversation about guns.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Date Read: 2019
Another book that I mostly just sobbed through.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Date Read: 2018
Aliens, a conversation on social media and internet fame, plus that ending!

These are just a few books that really have stuck with me after reading. This list of books is a lot for me because I have a terrible memory. So, when a book really sticks in my mind, you know it’s a good one (in my opinion). Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what books would make your ‘haunting books’ list in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Day Twenty-Six: Would You Rather Book Tag

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Hello, friends! Antonia & I have been tagged by the always lovely Avhlee @ Tea Cups and Torn Pages for the Would You Rather Book Tag. This seems like a fun and easy post to add to our blogtober lineup. So, here we go!

Read only standalones or trilogies?

Amanda- At the moment, standalones. I’m having trouble getting into any fantasies I pick up, so series are mostly off the table for me right now.

Antonia- I like both for so many reasons depending on my mood.

Read only female or male authors?

Amanda- I’m all for females supporting females, but some of my favorite books are by men.

Antonia- I honestly don’t pay attention to whether an author is male or female but I do tend to pick up more female authors.

Shop at Barnes & Nobel or Amazon?

Amanda- Barnes and Nobel. I try not to use Amazon if I can help it.

Antonia- Agreed^^ Though I’ve been trying not to buy books lately.

All books become movies or T.V. shows?

Amanda- T.V. shows. I love movies, but I’m a sucker for a great t.v. adaptation.

Antonia- TV. It’s so much easier to include all the little book details I want included.

Read five pages per day or five books per week?

Amanda- Five books each week. That’s about what I read currently.

Antonia- I wish I still read five books a week but I’m definitely closer to five pages a day right now.

Be a professional reviewer or author?

Amanda- Becoming a published author is my dream.

Antonia- Author

Only read your top twenty favorite books over and over or always read new books you haven’t read before?

Amanda- Always read new books.

Antonia- Top twenty.

Be a librarian or bookseller?

Amanda- Librarian. I would love to support authors, but helping kids find books they are going to love would be so fulfilling.

Antonia- Librarian sounds like so much fun.

Only read your favorite genre or any genre except for your favorite?

Amanda- Tough…every genre but my favorite.

Antonia- Uhhh.. I’m not sure I have a favorite right now so this one’s hard. I’ll pick every genre but my favorite too.

Read only physical books or eBooks?

Amanda- Ebooks because If I  had to only read physical books I wouldn’t be able to read as much as I do.

Antonia- Much as I like eBooks, I still much prefer physical books.

That’s all for the questions today friends! Feel free to consider yourself tagged if you’d like to participate in this one! Or you can leave your answers in the comments.

Blogtober Book Review: Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

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Summary:
Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe … which is now filling with blood.
When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.
Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.
Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.
StepsisterReview:
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Donnelly while she was doing the book tour for Stepsister. She was honestly so inspiring. I’ve been so excited to read Stepsister since that event. I finally managed to listen to the audiobook for the NEWTs.
Stepsister is the story of Cinderella’s sisters and what happens to them after Ella marries the prince and becomes Queen. I am in awe of Donnelly with the complexities of this story. Isabelle is being guided by two characters, Fate and Chance. It took me way too long to realize the significance of Chance other than it just being his name. Chance steals Isabelle’s life map from the Fate’s, and does everything in his power to change her path.
Isabelle was a really unlikable character. Which I’m pretty sure was the intention. This wasn’t a happy story. It was a story about growth. How to find the pieces of your heart and escape the title of ‘ugly step-sister.’
I am really not sure how to explain this story. But it was one of loss and regret and learning to love yourself. The things that Isabelle and her family endure could break anyone. But she doesn’t let it. She tries and tries, again and again, to do the right things, to be a better person. But she learns that it’s not that easy. Isabelle’s path is not an easy one, but despite the forces trying to hinder her, she finds her way.
Overall, this was a fascinating story. It was filled with unlikeable characters that learned how to be better, how to change their ways before it was too late, and how to love themselves even though they may not be traditionally pretty. Fate and Chance pulled the path in countless directions, keeping things interesting. If you’re a lover of fairytales, this is the story for you.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty-Five: Bookish Monsters

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Hi, lovelies! Today I want to talk about the things that go bump in between pages. Bookish monsters are all too fitting for Blogtober. I have a few off the top of my head, but the rest will come through scouring my shelves. Let’s see what I can come up with.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The monsters that are in this book are horrifying. They’re sentient and vicious. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet any of them on a dark street.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
The beast in this story is way more beastly than any other I’ve read before. He’s actually pretty scary.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Name pretty much any character and they qualify for this list.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Same as above. Pretty much any and all of the freaky creatures in Area X belong on this list. They’re all horrifying.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
This series has so many different mythological monsters, but it all starts with the Minotaur. Some are more frightening than others, but I certainly wouldn’t want to meet any of them.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Emim (or Buzzers) were hard to picture but no less terrifying because of that. As much as I enjoyed this world, I don’t want to visit is solely because of these creatures.

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
This second book is full of monsters. Specifically, Keot and Holothour. They are both creatures created from ‘The Missing’ which I’m hoping to learn more about in his next series. Keot feeds on violence, but he provides a bit of humor. Holothour, on the other hand, is horrifically terrifying.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I’m using the first book, but I’m really talking about the whole series. The demons are frightening and I’d like to stay as far away from them as possible.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Ek and Do, the hell hounds. No thanks. Hell hounds of any culture sound terrifying.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Though the dark, big bad, first appears in another book I’m going with this one because it’s in it the most. Imagine having your body taken over to murder people? Horrifying.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
The sirens are cool as shit in this story, but the mermaids are quite alarming. Vicious and cruel, a creature I never want to meet.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
The daeva in this series are supposed to be scary. But the way that Tea handles them makes me equally awed and afraid of them.

These are just some of the monsters that stand out in my mind. I’m sure I forgot some. Who are your favorite monsters? Comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

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GoodReads Summary:
Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.
Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming more than friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.
A distraction arises soon enough because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.
Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.
What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes, #2)Review:
I am officially obsessed with this series. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick it up. I think part of me was worried it wasn’t going to live up to the hype, but it absolutely does. The Last August was just as good as the first book in the series.
I love Charlotte Holmes. She’s flawed and so utterly human. But she’s also highly trained and is always thinking about a hundred steps ahead. I love the way her mind works and I wish we got more chapters from her point of view. She is really just a fascinating character.
Then there’s Jamie, sweet, dear Jamie. I just adore him. He’s always got something to prove. That he doesn’t need Charlotte’s training or affection. That he’s better than August. I enjoyed seeing his relationship with his dad get better over the course of the book. He finds himself in need of advice regarding the quirks of the Holmes family member, which I thought was an interesting way for them to bond.
The mystery in this book. Phew, it was a doozy. The ending was confusing and I’m honestly still not totally sure what happened. Every time I thought one thing was going on, Charlotte proved me wrong, over and over.
Overall, this was a fast-paced thrill ride with characters who have depth and real problems. I love this series and I cannot wait to continue on to the third book. If you haven’t picked up this series, what are you waiting for?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Love Bites by Lynsay Sands

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GoodReads Summary:
Etienne Argeneau’s three hundred years of bachelorhood were at an end. Either that, or he’d be forever alone. He could only “turn” one human in his lifetime, and most of his kind reserved that power for creating a life mate. If he turned the wrong woman…But what choice did he have? He had to save Rachel Garrett. He didn’t know her very well but the beautiful coroner had saved his life. To save hers he would make her immortal.
Rachel Garrett awoke surprised. All she’d wanted was to get off the night shift at the morgue; now here she was, staggering to her feet naked and in a strange place. But everything would be all right. She’d just make like a bat out of– Then she saw the man of her dreams emerging from his…coffin? And the look in his bright silver eyes said they’d be spending a lot of time together. She just hoped he tasted as good as he looked.
Love Bites (Argeneau #2)Review:
Book two in the Argeneau series, Love Bites, was one I enjoyed about the same amount as the first one (reviewed here). This is one of my favorite vampire romance series, mostly because of the twist on the vampire lore. They’re vampires created via science rather than magic and I just think that’s such a fun twist.
Rachel and Etienne are a pair that met by chance. And when Rachel is almost killed Etienne makes the choice to turn her as the one person he is ever allowed. This turns out great because they turn out to be life mates (surprise! not, hah).
I liked Etienne. He’s a video game developer that uses the truth about his race to create a hugely popular game. He also enjoyed spending time in a coffin, because it’s where he gets his best ideas. That really cracked me up. It also created some assumptions that complicated the story.
Rachel works nights in the morgue. She’s just finally gotten a job on the day shift when she’s almost killed and then turned. Upon waking, she is upset because she believes she’s now cursed to only walk the night. It was a little funny, already knowing the facts behind vampires, to see her so upset about all the things she won’t be able to do. I liked that she stood up for her beliefs with a certain situation that she’s involved in.
Overall, the second book in this series was another that I enjoyed but didn’t adore. It was fun and funny. The drama and the antics and the sex were all pretty good. This series is well written and easy to read.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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GoodReads Summary:
Survive the year.
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.
The Grace YearReview:
The Grace Year was recommended to me by Alana @ The Bookish Chick. She and I are always sharing book recommendations back and forth. She absolutely loved this one, so I thought I would too. While I did really enjoy this book, there were a few things I didn’t love.
I really liked the concept of the story. A girl living in a society that treats her more like an object than a person. Women have a role and they are not to stray from that role. If they do, they may potentially be burned alive, hanged, or something else equally horrifying. It honestly made me so angry. But I think that means the author was successful with her writing. She really provoked some emotions from me.
I was fascinated by the mystery of the grace year. (Also, I’d like to know exactly how many times that phrase appeared in the book.) No one talks about the grace year, despite everyone over a certain age having gone through it. Then it’s time for Tierney and the others her age to go for their grace year. The idea is that they go away and expel all of their ‘womanly magic’ so that when they return it’s time to settle down and give their husbands children.
Things got a little wild from here. All of the facts behind the grace year were actually pretty fucked up. I think the author did so well with the drama and suspense during the time the girls are on their grace year. I was confused and dying to know what was actually going on. But I was also infuriated at the actions of some of the girls. I don’t often wish characters would die, but I texted Alana several times (in all capitals) wishing death on one particular character. The characters had such interesting personalities and they were pretty well developed. There were reasons why they acted the way they did.
Let’s talk about the romance. I didn’t like it at first, but then I loved it. Two people from completely different worlds, coming together? Who doesn’t love that? I hated how it ended though. That’s all I’ll say about that. The author did our love interest dirty and I don’t appreciate it, but I understand why it was needed for the way the story ended.
The final thing I didn’t like was parts of the ending. I went into this story thinking that Tierney was going to fuck some shit up and change everything about the way her people live. But she didn’t do this. She has the chance to spill everything about the grace year, to get the truth out there. But she doesn’t. She just keeps it between herself and the other girls of her grace year. She takes her role as wife and eventually mother. This really just annoyed me because what the hell was the point of the whole story if she wasn’t going to fix her horrifying society?
Despite this, I ended up liking the ending. She finds a nice partnership with her husband and I appreciated that. She also learns some things about a side mystery that’s been going on and I really loved that part.
Overall, this book was a wild ride. I loved the characters. I loved more of the story. I really enjoyed all the ideas and conversations explored in this story. The writing was compelling and I just couldn’t get enough. I actually stayed up until almost 3am so I could finish this book in one sitting.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.